Opinionated Comparisons

… compare and contrast

HYD Cast: Taiwan versus Japan versus Korea

Posted by MAaP on January 27, 2009

You guys didn’t think I was going to abandon this blog, did you? I haven’t written anything for more than a month, after all. But that’s just because I’ve been keeping tabs on new topics to discuss in here. Alas, I have something new!.. But it’s about something old; old in a sense that the original was made years ago and there’s just this new version today that has brought up the addiction for the series to new heights.

Hana Yori Dango / Boys Over Flowers / Meteor Garden

Hana Yori Dango / Boys Over Flowers / Meteor Garden

Hana Yori Dango still remains as one of the most popular manga serials of all time. Since the Asian audience have been pampered with live action versions of the manga, brought out by Taiwan first and Japan second, it was only a matter of time before South Korea brought out a version of their own.

I once made a post comparing Meteor Garden‘s and Hana Yori Dango‘s cast. South Korea has brought out their HYD cast counterparts, though, and there has been a lot of talk on which country has got the best cast for the Boys Over Flowers TV series.

Barbie Hsu, Mao Inoue, and Koo Hye Sun as Makino Tsukushi

Barbie Hsu, Mao Inoue, and Koo Hye Sun as Makino Tsukushi

Xian Cai versus Makino Tsukushi versus Geum Jan Di

Ladies first. Who among the actresses represented the manga’s heroine the best? Taiwan’s Barbie Hsu played it well, and Korea’s Koo Hye Sun acted a little exaggerated at the beginning of the series. Both progressed in acting out as the willful Makino Tsukushi as the series went on. But it was Japan’s Mao Inoue who really made a lasting impression on the HYD fans. From the beginning of the series till the end, she was constantly the weed known as Makino Tsukushi.

Jerry Yan, Matsumoto Jun, and Lee Min Ho as Domyouji Tsukasa

Jerry Yan, Matsumoto Jun, and Lee Min Ho as Domyouji Tsukasa

Dao Ming Si versus Domyouji Tsukasa versus Goo Joon Pyo

As for the arrogant leader of the famous F4, I’ll have to admit that while he’s a very prominent actor, Japan’s Matsumoto Jun is the last of the three. This is mainly due to the physical appearance. Don’t get me wrong, he really did great in his acting. But comparing him to the bigger Taiwanese and Korean Domyouji Tsukasa, he’s been overpowered. Taiwan’s Jerry Yan and Korea’s Lee Min Ho also didn’t lose out on the acting skills so this would leave us to base our verdict on their charm as the male lead of the series. And when it comes to this, I think Lee Min Ho wins — the looks, that air of arrogance, that masculinity, even Domyouji’s stupidity.

Vic Zhou, Oguri Shun, and Kim Hyun Joong as Hanazawa Rui

Vic Zhou, Oguri Shun, and Kim Hyun Joong as Hanazawa Rui

Hua Ze Lei versus Hanazawa Rui versus Yun Ji Hoo

For the silent bishounen and the third end of the love triangle, all three actors managed to mix well with their role. There’s the silence, the stare, the clipped words, and the awkwardness. All three actors really showed smooth awkwardness. Acting-wise, I also can’t compare them much. There is this line between acting awkward and real awkwardness, though, that can sometimes be seen through the acting. Japan’s Oguri Shun has the advantage here because Boys Over Flowers was a first in acting for Taiwan’s Vic Zhou and Korea’s Kim Hyun Joong. Taking that into consideration, I can only surmise that all three are just about on the same level. I have to say, though, regarding physical appearances, Kim Hyun Joong is the perfect Hanazawa Rui.

Ken Zhu, Shota Matsuda, and Kim Bum as Nishikado Sojirou

Ken Zhu, Shota Matsuda, and Kim Bum as Nishikado Sojirou

Xi Men versus Sojirou Akira versus So Yee Jung

To act as a playboy, you should also have the looks of a playboy. Taiwan’s Ken Zhu was a little mature-looking to be one. His acting was also a little dry. Nothing about him sparked to me as a playboy. Japan’s Shota Matsuda focused more on his tea ceremonies than on his playboy charms. Korea’s Kim Bum, though, is being brought out to be both. His love story with the Korean counterpart of Matsuoki Yuuki is also being built more in the Korean series, so there’ll definitely be some growth to the character. We can conclude then that Korea’s Kim Bum wins the battle over the Sojirou Akiras.

Vannes Wu, Tsuyoshi Abe, and Kim Joon as Mimasaka Akira

Vannes Wu, Tsuyoshi Abe, and Kim Joon as Mimasaka Akira

Mei Zuo versus Mimasaka Akira versus Song Woo Bin

Now this is hard, mainly because this character doesn’t really have a lot of airtime in the series. How can we deduce who’s the better among the three? I have yet to see Korea’s Kim Joon‘s performance. Japan’s Tsuyoshi Abe didn’t really have that much of an impact. Taiwan’s Vannes Wu, among the three, looks to be the best for the part. He went along with the character’s happy-go-lucky attitude and at times also brought out some maturity. As the Korean version continues on, i might be able to see more of Kim Joon’s performance. But for now, Vannes Wu stays on top of the three.

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Look-Alikes: Kim Hyun Joong versus Wu Chun versus Yamapi

Posted by MAaP on November 19, 2008

I’m back in trailing the Asian entertainment scene. I will not deny that I am currently more immersed in Asian shows than in Western TV series. The Korean variety shows has especially hooked me up with their humor and witty situations. In diving through the faces of Korean entertainment, I was especially drawn to SS501 Kim Hyun Joong… and how he reminded me of other Asian idols who somehow look like him.

Asian Idols

Look-Alikes : Asian Idols

Kim Hyun Joong is one of the most popular idols of Korea. He’s got the talent, the personality, the charm.. and he’s also got the face… What about the face? Well, it’s a face that appears to be common among popular idols in Asia. Yamashita Tomohisa a.k.a. Yamapi, a very popular idol in Japan, has almost the same features. These two are almost always being compared, with Hyun Joong sometimes credited to be popular in Japan because he looks like Yamapi. I would also like to add a popular face to be compared with these two, this time another popular idol from Taiwan: Farenheit’s Wu Chun, who I can say also commands a huge fan base not just in Taiwan but across Asia, too.

Japan’s Idol: NEWS – Yamapi

Tomohisa Yamapi

Tomohisa Yamapi

His real name is Tomohisa Yamashita, but is more popularly known by his nickname Yamapi. Yamapi entered the entertainment business when he was 11 and eventually grew to idol stardom. He is currently one of the top male idols of Japan.

Yamapi is the leader and (accepted widely) the best dancer of Jpop group NEWS. He has also collaborated with a fellow pop idol and formed Shuji to Akira. He is also successful as a solo artist, and is also a songwriter.

As the trend of Asian singers goes, Yamapi also delved into acting and was as successful at the craft as he is in the music scene. He has acted in a great many TV dramas and films, and has even won awards for his roles. He is usually one of the male leads in his dramas. For supporting roles, he also stands out with his onscreen charm and suave portrayals.

Taiwan’s Idol: Farenheit – Wu Chun

Wu Chun

Wu Chun

The oldest of the three, Wu Chun shot to fame as an actor. Afterwards, he joined the popular Taiwanese boyband Farenheit and went on to become one of the top idols and leading men of Taiwanese TV. He was formerly a model and a fitness instructor in Brunei, where he lived.

Aside from being an actor and singer, Wu Chun is also a businessman. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia) and founded their family’s gym, Fitness Zone, in Brunei.

Wu Chun was recently awarded the Young Entrepreneur of the Year (under real name Goh Kiat Chun) back in August during the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards in Brunei.

South Korea’s Idol: SS501 – Kim Hyun Joong

Kim Hyun Joong

Kim Hyun Joong

Kim Hyun Joong is a freshie when compared to Yamapi and Wu Chun. Hyun Joong only entered the entertainment industry in 2005, and has achieved relative success as a singer. He is the leader and oldest member of boyband SS501, and has also been appearing in variety shows.

Hyun Joong, as an individual, skyrocketed to fame just recently with his involvement in We Got Married, a reality show where couples are paired up to be husband and wife. Hyun Joong plays the younger husband in an older-woman-and-younger-husband marital life. His 4D personality was exhibited and it charmed a big audience that led to a huge fan base.

Hyun Joong is also just starting onto the drama scene. He was just recently casted as Yoon Ji Hoo, the Korean version of Hanazawa Rui of the popular manga-turned-TV-series Hana Yori Dango. This is his first major acting role and he has shown some passion towards the craft that many can’t help but anticipate great things from him in the future.

Who’s the Idol of the Idols?

Can you choose between these three? Each of them has given us proof that they really deserved to be called idols. Each of them has certainly made a mark in the industry with their idol concepts. I have not really watched Wu Chun’s progress but his entrepreneurship efforts boosted him up for me. On the other hand, I have seen Yamapi’s enough to know that there’s no doubt Japan has a gret idol. Hyun Joong is still starting up on the acting path but he has continuously shown great effort and passion in everything he does… Argh! I can’t choose!

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